Malawi’s Joyce Banda takes presidential oath

Malawi’s Vice-President Joyce Banda has been sworn in as president following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika.

Her Excellency Banda, 61, became Malawi’s first female head of state after taking the oath before parliament in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe.

“I will well and truly perform the functions of the high office of the president of the Republic of Malawi,” Banda said as she recited the oath of office.

Parliament erupted into shouts of joy but some ministers were seen wiping away tears.

Road to Power: Banda presidency

The swearing-in ceremony was delayed after some ministers had plotted to cling to power and install Peter Mutharika as Head Of State.

But others led by Transport Minister Sidik Mia resisted and called for Constitutional order.

Mia also went o Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo asking her to allow the transition takes place legally.

Banda e has promised that there will be no retribution.  She says this is an opportunity to heal the wounds in our country.

Coup’ ministers booed

Malawi National Assembly briefly turned into an entertainment arena when people jeered at some ministers as they entered the chambers for the swearing in ceremony.

At the centre of interest was the Information and Civic Education Minister, Patricia Kaliati, Vuwa Kaunda of Youth and Sports, Nicholas Dausi, the Deputy Minister in the Office of President and Cabinet and Dr Jean Kalirani of Health who were booed at they stepped into the august House.

Hundreds of people, clad in orange colours sang akweni, akweni, while clapping hands and ululating as Kaliati entered inside the Parliament chambers to bear witness and accept that the person they rebuked left, right and centre was being sworn in as President.

The gathering was surprised with the presence of these figures including others like Yunus Mussa, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) second vice president after they said Banda could not take over the mantle because she formed her own political party.

Around11.00pm on Friday, Kaliati led fellow ministers proclaiming that there was no vacancy in the presidency of Malawi and therefore Banda should not be sworn in as the country’s president.

Almost all the current ministers were present at the swearing in ceremony which was also attended by former official hostess Mama Cecilia Kadzamira, members of diplomatic corp and various opposition leaders.

All the ministers who boycotted the press conference Banda conducted at her Area 12 residence in Lilongwe were also present.

Parliament was completely turned into an orange (Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party colours) arena with excitement engulfing the entire place.

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